Will My EHIC Cover My Family And Children?
When you go on a business trip or a holiday vacation in any of the countries that are members of the European Free Trade Association such as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway or the 28 states that make up the European Union such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy, just to name a few, the second most important travel document you need to bring is the European Health Insurance Card, next to your passport.
The EHIC, as the European Health Insurance Card is commonly referred to, serves in pretty much the same way as its now-defunct predecessor, the E111. However, unlike the E111, the EHIC is valid for only one individual. The E111 provides coverage for entire families which, at a glance, can be considered more efficient. Unfortunately, carrying a single piece of document to cover all members of a particular family is simply not practical especially if different members will be going their own way during a holiday trip. If they will require medical assistance, they may not be able to obtain such services because the only copy of the E111 is with the head of the family. So, the EHIC effectively solves this issue by providing each member of one’s family a European Health Insurance Card named after each individual member.
For example, if your name is John and you are going to apply for EHIC for your children named James and Mary as well as spouse named Julie, then you are entitled to receive 4 different EHIC cards all bearing the respective names of your spouse and children.
So, are your family and children covered by EHIC? The simple answer is yes, they are covered. But, the card will be in their individual name and not under your name. Technically, your family and children are not covered by your EHIC. Your European Health Insurance Card is yours alone and, as such, only you are covered. Likewise, the EHIC cards of your children or spouse will only cover the respective cardholder.
While your children and your family have essentially their own EHIC, you can nevertheless apply on their behalf. When you do so, it is important to supply only the correct information as this can have implications in the efficiency of the processing of claims later on.
You can also renew your EHIC as well as the EHIC of each one in the family as early as 6 months prior to the date of expiry of your card. It is therefore, crucial to keep a record of when the expiration dates of each card is so you can initiate card renewal applications. It is also for this matter that many individuals prefer obtaining third party services such as those provided by MyEHIC. These companies provide EHIC application and renewal assistance while also providing other value-added services such as the sending out of notification for EHIC renewal to their clients. This way, you don’t have to fret about keeping up-to-date with the validity of your EHIC as well as those of your family members. MyEHIC can notify you if it’s already time to renew your card.
The same is true if there are changes in your EHIC records. For example, if you need to change your address, you will need to make the amendments yourself or via MyEHICs renowned services. If you had a child within the 5 year validity period of the EHIC, you also might want to update your recognized dependents in your EHIC. So your little baby will also have his or her own EHIC.
The European Health Insurance Card is an indispensable tool when traveling abroad. It assures you access to the state-funded medical and dental treatments of the country you’re visiting. That said, it should not be considered as a substitute for a comprehensive health or travel insurance. Any expenses incurred outside the public health care system won’t be covered by EHIC. This can include, but not limited to, repatriation expenses, lost baggage, flight delays or cancellations, or even mountain rescue services. It is thus recommended that you still obtain a comprehensive travel insurance to complement your EHIC.
If you have questions about EHIC, MyEHIC can help you. They can also help you in applying for and in renewing your EHIC as well as that of your family.